Getting The Facts Straight About Retainers | Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

Straight teeth can be achieved with braces, but how can they be maintained once they are removed?

If you want to maintain the position of your straightened teeth, you must wear your retainer for at least 12 hours per day for the first eight weeks following the completion of your orthodontic treatment. When your teeth have been moved to a new position, diligent wear is crucial as the teeth are the least stable during this time. Following the completion of eight weeks of wearing your retainers for half of each day, with the approval of your 60465 orthodontist, you can begin wearing them at night only.

There are several types of retainers that may be recommended for you:

  • Clear Retainers: This is a clear plastic removable retainer similar to teeth whitening trays. They are invisible and less likely to affect your speech than traditional retainers.
  • Traditional Retainers: These are acrylic or wire-based removable appliances that are fitted to the roof of your mouth; the wire runs along the outside of your teeth to keep them in their proper position. Although this is a more durable option, it is also more noticeable than other options.
  • Permanent Retainer: This type of retainer consists of a wire that is bonded to the inside of your front teeth (usually the lower ones) to hold them in place. Patients at high risk of relapse or those who are likely to ignore instructions for wearing removable retainers are often prescribed permanent retainers.

In addition to keeping your teeth straight, retainers provide many other benefits. Aligned teeth are easier to clean. They are less likely to develop tooth decay because plaque is less likely to accumulate. Certain types of retainers can help improve breathing and snoring. Children can wear retainers to help them adjust the placement of their tongues, which can reduce speech impediments. Orthodontists help treat many of these problems.

Maintaining retainers

Maintain your retainers’ cleanliness by brushing them every day with toothpaste. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the entire area. Ensure that the wires aren’t bent out of place when handling them.

Take care of your retainer, and it will take care of you when you complete your orthodontic treatment. The retention phase begins when you remove your braces. Your retainer is considered the maintenance phase of your orthodontic treatment. Yes, you do need to wear your retainer forever. During the first few months, you will need to wear it 24/7. Your teeth will then be locked into place, but you’ll still need to wear your retainer at night. This will make sure that your teeth don’t shift back to their natural positions, which is known as “relapse.” Your retainer should be one of the most important components of your orthodontic treatment plan. 

We invite you to contact our Palos Hills, IL orthodontics office for more information about retainers or to schedule an appointment.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Brushing After Eating: Is it Necessary? | Orthodontist Palos Hills IL

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

A tooth’s enamel is the hardest material in your body and your teeth are its guardians. A healthy mouth is the first line of defense against harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. You create bacteria when you eat certain foods, which attack the enamel of your teeth. For example, carbohydrates and sugary foods flood the enamel. Our orthodontist in 60465 shares that brushing your teeth immediately following a meal can damage your enamel.

Why is this harmful?

Your mouth’s pH level changes when you consume liquids and food. When you eat acidic foods, you raise the pH balance until it reaches a level where demineralization occurs. By causing the enamel to soften, the new acidity can allow bacteria to penetrate your teeth. After eating, brushing your teeth may harm your enamel. It would be best to protect your enamel because enamel protects your teeth.

Protect your enamel by following these steps:

After eating anything acidic, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. 

A good example is citrus fruits. It is a good idea to brush before consuming acidic foods or drinks.

You can remove acids by drinking water. You can follow this up by chewing sugarless gum. When these steps are followed, saliva can help restore the pH balance needed for a healthy smile.

Our Palos Hills, IL orthodontic team says to limit your soda intake to avoid permanent damage from phosphoric acid.

Maintaining optimal oral health requires brushing twice a day. 

Was it taught that you should brush your teeth directly after eating? This may seem like the right habit to adopt, but it could be detrimental to your dental health. It may be better to rinse your mouth with water after eating to maintain healthy enamel. We can provide you with tips for maintaining healthy, strong teeth if you come to our office for an examination. Get in touch with our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL today.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Do I Have to Wear My Retainer? | Orthodontist Palos Hills

Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist
Palos Hills, IL Orthodontist

Keeping your teeth straight is crucial in the period following the removal of your braces. Maintaining the smile you have worked so hard for is best achieved with a retainer worn as directed by our orthodontist in 60465. Wearing your retainer may help keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. What can happen if you do not wear a retainer after braces treatment? Learn more in the following paragraphs.

Within one week.

Once your braces are removed, your teeth will move back into their original positions. There are different rates of tooth movement, and even slight shifts in your teeth can affect how your retainer functions. It is essential to wear your retainer at night during the first week to prevent any relapses. 

A month later.

When you don’t wear your retainer for one month, you may find your bite has changed, and your teeth have begun to move back into their previous alignment. A second appointment will need to be scheduled to get you fitted for another retainer at this point. Additionally, you may be required to wear your retainer during the daytime and at night. 

One year later.

If you skip a retainer, your teeth will have returned to their original position, and maybe even be crooked after one year. You might need to restart your orthodontic treatment. You can prevent this from happening if you wear your retainer as instructed. 

Wearing a retainer after removing your braces can help keep your teeth straight. If you stop wearing your retainer, the smile you worked hard to achieve will disappear. In the long run, you will see that it is worth the effort to get into the habit of wearing a retainer.

If you want more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Can My Braces Cause Swollen Gums? | Orthodontist 60465

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

No matter how old you are, braces are a safe and effective way to straighten your teeth. Although you cannot see your teeth moving, constant, steady pressure caused by braces causes changes in your gums and jaw bone as your teeth move. Occasionally, some patients may experience minor side effects, such as gum irritation. If your gums are red, sore, or swollen, determine the cause and seek treatment from our orthodontist in 60465 as soon as possible.

It may be difficult to maintain good oral hygiene when wearing braces. This results in plaque building up and causing gingivitis, damaging the gums and causing them to swell and bleed. While wearing braces, if you notice your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding when you brush, this is indicative of infection and an inflammatory reaction. Hormone changes make children and teenagers more likely to develop gum disease. Additionally, it makes it harder to clean teeth and gums.

Swollen gums are a common occurrence when you first get braces. You may feel that your gums are sensitive while wearing braces. In some circumstances, metal brackets and wires can increase gum size due to hypertrophy or hyperplasia. When your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces are removed, your gums will likely return to normal.

Wearing braces requires you to take dietary precautions. Some dietary habits are known to cause orthodontic appliances to break and increase the risk of dental decay. You should avoid eating anything hard or crunchy, such as raw vegetables and popcorn, which can irritate your gums. While wearing braces, limit foods and drinks that may cause dental caries (cavities). Your orthodontist will inform you of dietary restrictions while you are under their care.

Here are a few steps you can take to alleviate swelling and inflammation in your gums:

  • Get an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head to thoroughly clean your teeth.
  • Clean between your teeth with a water flosser.
  • Interproximal brushes and floss threaders clean around and under wires better than toothbrushes.
  • You might want to consider mouthwash containing fluoride or antimicrobials.
  • To relieve inflammation in the mouth, rinse with warm water containing a pinch of salt.
  • Smoking and alcohol aggravate inflammation further.

To achieve the best results from your orthodontic treatment, it is important to make a conscious effort to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. If you have a high risk of periodontal disease, your orthodontist may wait to begin orthodontic treatment until your teeth and gums are healthy. 

We invite you to call our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL and schedule an appointment if you have any questions or would like more information.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

The Disadvantages of Misaligned Teeth | Palos Hills Orthodontist

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

If you have uneven teeth, you may be considering orthodontic options to improve your smile. Straightening your teeth can do more than just boost your confidence. It is important to consult with your orthodontist in 60465 if your teeth are not aligned properly. 

People often fail to realize how the health of their mouths affects the health of their bodies overall. Poor oral health puts you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, illnesses, miscarriages, and more. Having misaligned teeth makes it harder to take care of your mouth properly, increasing your risk of oral health problems. The following are some of the most common problems caused by misaligned teeth: Contact our office today if any of these symptoms affect you.

Gum disease

In comparison to straight teeth, it is harder to keep uneven teeth clean. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you are more likely to get gum disease. In many adults, plaque buildup can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss. When your gums are swollen or inflamed, bacteria may be released into your bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and increase your risk of strokes, heart attacks, etc.

Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and examinations and maintain good oral hygiene. 

Jaw discomfort/TMD TMJ

If you have misaligned teeth or an abnormal bite, your chances of developing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) may be increased. Even though most TMD cases are caused by teeth grinding and clenching, a misaligned bite can also contribute to the condition. In addition to jaw pain and discomfort, TMD can also cause headaches and other symptoms such as clicking sounds while chewing. 

You may need TMD treatment if you have been experiencing jaw pain. An orthodontist can help determine if this condition requires treatment. By correcting a misaligned bite, TMD patients can experience less pain.

Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel is a complex and thin coating covering the surface of the tooth that prevents it from being chipped or worn away. Grinding your teeth is a common cause of enamel loss, but various environmental factors contribute as well. Simple actions such as speaking and chewing can grind your teeth together if they are uneven and your bite isn’t aligned correctly. Eventually, this will wear away your teeth’s enamel, making them appear discolored, more sensitive, and more likely to crack and chip. The enamel of your teeth can be protected at home in many ways, including drinking plenty of water, avoiding excessively acidic and sugary foods, and brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist. The alignment of your teeth may limit your ability to prevent enamel erosion on your own.

Orthodontists can help you improve the alignment of your teeth and smile. Please contact our Palos Hills, IL orthodontics office to find out whether orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Maintaining Your Retainer | 60465 Orthodontist

Orthodontist 60465
Orthodontist 60465

Are you going days, or even weeks, without cleaning your retainer? A retainer has the same bacteria as your mouth and, if not cleaned daily, is almost equivalent to not brushing your teeth for weeks. You accumulate bacteria throughout the day, which can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, and cavities. If you want to practice good oral hygiene, your orthodontist in 60465 recommends following these tips.

Clean your retainer with toothpaste.

You should brush your retainer at night when you brush your teeth. Once it becomes a habit, brushing it won’t seem like an extra step. To achieve the best results, use non-whitening toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Maintaining the integrity of your retainer acrylic is essential through the use of soft toothbrushes and the avoidance of abrasive toothpaste, as repeated scrubbing can cause it to scratch, allowing bacteria to grow. 

It is not enough to just wash it with water.

A simple wash with water won’t get rid of bacteria. Bacteria can be reduced by using water throughout the day, but distilled white vinegar is the best solution. Combine one part vinegar with three parts water in a cup. Soak your retainer for approximately 15 minutes, then gently brush with a soft toothbrush.

Use baking soda.

Aside from teeth whitening retainers, baking soda restores the pH balance in retainers. A paste can be made by mixing half baking soda and half water. When applied to the toothbrush, it will be similar to a light toothpaste. Gently brush your retainer to ensure it is clean. 

Quick mouthwash soaks

In most cases, orthodontists do not recommend mouthwash as a primary way to clean your retainer. However, you can give it a quick soak to kill bacteria and freshen its smell. Mix equal parts of mouthwash and lukewarm water. Alcohol can damage acrylic, so make sure the mouthwash is alcohol-free.

A retainer cleaner bought at the store is an option.

If you decide to use a cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Stores sell cleaners specifically designed for cleaning retainers. Your orthodontics team in Palos Hills can recommend a cleaner, and you should follow the directions on the packaging.

By keeping your retainer clean, you are maintaining your oral health. Maintaining your retainer using the methods we have discussed above will help you avoid potential health problems caused by bacteria. Consult your orthodontist about which cleaning option would be best for you. We invite you to schedule an appointment to our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

The Risks of Braces | Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

Orthodontist in 60465
Orthodontist in 60465

Braces are a common rite of passage for many people, and, thankfully, they have become more comfortable over the years. People generally have few problems with their braces outside of the expected minor discomfort. However, depending on your lifestyle, there are potential risks to consider. Below are some common issues shared by our orthodontist in 60465 that you might experience and tips on how to avoid them.

Injuries to the Mouth

Most people know the importance of wearing a mouth guard when participating in high-impact sports such as football or hockey. However, when you have braces, even a fall from running can pose a threat to your lips and soft tissues. Ask our doctor about getting a mouth guard for all physical activity as it will act as a safeguard and protect your lips and cheeks from potential damage.

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

When you have braces, it’s important to still practice proper oral hygiene. Since flossing and careful brushing require greater effort, it can be easy to slack off in these areas. However, doing so will only further complicate your treatment and damage your teeth. There are plenty of tools at your disposal designed to help you clean around braces, from pre-threaded floss to pressurized water tools. If you’re having difficulty adapting your regular routine, ask the orthodontist about different options that can help.

Hobby-Related Issues

There are some inconveniences that can arise when trying to add braces into your day-to-day routine. Certain musicians, for example, might experience discomfort when getting used to playing with braces. People who sing or do extensive public speaking might have some minor issues with pronunciation or discomfort caused by your lips rubbing against the metal brackets.

Most of these issues will fix themselves as you get used to living with braces. However if the discomfort persists, ask your orthodontist about the different relief options you have.

Most individuals who have braces do not have any long-term complications throughout their treatment. However, there are smaller issues that can arise when you are first adjusting to your braces that can become a big annoyance if left unaddressed. By knowing what to expect and raising any concerns or issues you might have with your orthodontist, you will be much more prepared to tackle these small issues. Contact our orthodontics office in Palos Hills, IL with any questions that you may have.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Ways To Care For Your Retainer | Palos Hills Orthodontist

Orthodontist Oak Lawn

Ways To Care For Your Retainer | Palos Hills Orthodontist

60465Retainer

When you first get your retainer it can be easy to forget it or neglect it. Once you get used to having one, it can become second nature to regularly care for it. Your retainer is an important way to maintain the position of your teeth after orthodontic treatment.  We’ve assembled a list of five tips to help you get well-versed in caring for your retainer. 

1. Keep It In, Unless…

Your retainer should be worn for the entire day. Without it, your orthodontic treatment results will suffer. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. Do take out your retainer while you eat, clean it, during sports, and as directed by your dentist and our doctor. Otherwise, wear it regularly. You are also less likely to lose it the more that you wear it. 

2. Use Your Case

Your retainer will come with a case to store it in. When it’s out of your mouth, use the case. We’ve heard many horror stories of patients putting their retainer in a napkin while they eat, only to throw it away by mistake. We’ve seen parents digging through the trash for their child’s retainer.  A replacement retainer can be costly, so treat yours with care.

3. Clean it Regularly

Your retainer needs to be kept clean. Like your teeth, plaque and bacteria can build up on it, which can be harmful to your teeth. We recommend cleaning your retainer every time you brush. Rinse your retainer with water, then use toothpaste and your toothbrush to give a gentle scrubbing. Rinse it off one final time before putting it back in your mouth.

4. Be Careful With Sports

Contact sports pose a risk of damaging your retainer. Even non-contact sports may cause you to experience some degree of facial trauma. While playing sports, your retainer should be removed and placed in its protective case. Ask our orthodontist about a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth during these activities.

While receiving orthodontic treatment, we will schedule a series of appointments with you to measure your progress.These visits are important for ensuring your results are maintained. They allow our team to make sure your retainer continues to fit properly, as well.

It may take some time to become comfortable with caring for your retainer. Follow our guide to stay on track. Keeping your retainer clean is just as important as keeping your teeth clean. Don’t forget to remove your retainer while eating, and always use the case to store it when it is not in your mouth. For more tips on care of your retainer or to schedule your next visit to our Palos Hills, IL orthodontist, please contact our team.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

What You Should Know About Sensitive Teeth and Braces | Orthodontist Near Me

Oak Lawn, IL Orthodontist
Palos Hills IL Orthodontist

There are many conditions can cause teeth to become sensitive. Receding gums, tooth decay, exposed roots, and thinning tooth enamel are just a few. All these factors can cause teeth to become extremely sensitive to temperature changes, or sweet and acidic flavors.

Even worse, If you have sensitive teeth and are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you are at risk of developing even sensitivity.

One in eight people with braces will experience some tooth sensitivity. The level of discomfort varies from patient to patient, and each level of discomfort is due to the pressure that is placed on the teeth by braces. This sensitivity is not permanent and will usually only last a few days. 

Factors Impacting Sensitivity

What causes teeth to become sensitive? The most common reason is over brushing your teeth.  You can brush away your gum line exposing the sensitive root area by brushing your teeth too aggressively.

Teeth will become extremely sensitive if the gum line recedes, as it exposes porous root surfaces. Brush your teeth in soft and even circles (especially if you use a battery-powered brush) to protect your gums and avoid pain and discomfort.

Another reason for sensitive teeth resulting from braces is not brushing regularly or taking care of your oral hygiene properly. When you are not practicing correct dental hygiene, plaque and buildup are likely to form on your teeth, weakening the teeth and raising the chance for sensitivity.

Patients with braces are prone to plaque and buildup because debris gets trapped in between the teeth and braces. In the long run this will make it more likely to develop sensitive teeth.

Steps To Be Taken

There are several things you can do to help stop pain and sensitivity. Start with a good dental hygiene routine by brushing with a soft toothbrush in a small up and down motion while making little circles. Add flossing to your daily routine. Last, combine all this with an over-the-counter anti-sensitivity toothpaste.

If your sensitivity is caused by scheduled orthodontic adjustments, you can take over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen.

If these things do not provide you relief, our dentist can offer other treatment options. Contact our orthodontist office in Palos Hills, IL today to schedule a consultation and we will be glad to discuss what’s right for you.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

6 Quick Facts About Braces | Palos Hills Orthodontist

Orthodontist Oak Lawn, IL
Orthodontist in 60465

Since the beginning of recorded history, people have yearned for straighter teeth. Over the centuries, dental care has evolved exponentially. Traditional braces have become more comfortable and efficient than ever before.

Follow along for six things you might not know about braces:

  1. The Ancient Egyptians Wanted Straighter Teeth Too

Some Egyptian mummies have been found by archaeologists with cords wound through their teeth, possibly in order to straighten them. What were these ancient braces made from? Animal intestines.

You will be thrilled to know that our orthodontist uses far more modern and sanitary materials.

  1. Many People Have Them

Did you know that an estimated 4 million people in the US are currently wearing some form of braces or aligners to straighten their teeth? If braces are recommended to straighten your teeth, you can feel confident knowing that you are definitely not alone.

  1. Getting Braces is Like Rocket Science

Nitinol 60 is the flexible material used in braces. Believe it or not, NASA scientists use this material on the International Space Station. The heat from your mouth makes nitinol return to its original shape, gently guiding your teeth to where they need to be. 

  1. Don’t Forget Your Retainer

An estimated 25 percent of those who wear braces don’t wear their retainer. Don’t be one of the people that ends up needing a second set of braces. 

  1. Braces Are Older Than You Think 

Braces have been around since the year 1728, when Pierre Fauchard developed them by using flat metal brackets and connected them to the teeth using thread. That means braces are 48 years older than the United States of America.

  1. Myths About Braces Debunked 

Is there a greater chance of getting struck by lightning when wearing braces? The answer is a huge no.

Also, there is no way your braces will interfere with any radio signals.

As time and technology have progressed, braces have become more efficient and far more comfortable than ever before. If you are ready for that perfect smile, our experienced orthodontic team is ready to work with you to achieve the results you are looking for.

If you have any questions about braces, contact our orthodontics office in Palos Hills today and schedule an orthodontic consultation.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465